- Ada, Oklahoma


September 10, 2012

Jess Green

Ada — Funeral services for Jessie Don “Jess” Green will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, September 12, 2012, at the Chickasaw Nation Community Center in Ada, Oklahoma, with Bro. Wayne Edgar officiating. Burial will follow at East Hill Cemetery in Roff, Oklahoma. Visitation with the family will be from 6–8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 11, at Criswell Funeral Home.

Mr. Green lost his battle with neuroendocrine carcinoma and departed this life on Saturday, September 8, 2012, at the Chickasaw Nation Medical Center in Ada with his family by his side. He was born September 21, 1952, in Ada, Oklahoma, to J.L. and Mary Jo Thomas Green.

He attended Fitzhugh and McLish grade schools and graduated from McLish High School in 1970. He graduated from East Central State College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors. Jess graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Law with his Juris Doctor conferred in May, 1977.

He married Nancy McAlister on February 10, 2012, at Sunshine, Oklahoma.

Jess was a proud Chickasaw/Choctaw warrior. He was a practicing attorney from 1977-1979 and from 1987 until his death. He was the former owner of Green Law Firm in Ada, Oklahoma, which is now owned by his wife, Nancy Green. He was dedicated to lifting the standard of living for his people as well as for all Native Americans. Jess was recognized in Washington, D.C. and all across the United States for his ability to fight for the rights of Native Americans. He served in the first Chickasaw Legislature and was legislative chairman. At the time, he was also serving as Pontotoc County Associate District Judge. He assisted Chickasaw Indian Child Welfare by helping bring Chickasaw children back to families who had been torn apart by state systems. When Indian Child Welfare first came into effect, he was a Chickasaw champion for all Native Americans. He started the first juvenile court in the state with the Comanche Tribe right after passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act and that court still exists today. From this long history of involvement in Indian government, Jess successfully argued in the Tenth Circuit MegaMania case and in the Tenth Circuit Seneca-Cayuga case. These two cases allow class II gaming as we know it today in the State of Oklahoma. Jess was well known across the United States and often referred to as the Chickasaw warrior lawyer from Oklahoma who knew Indian gaming laws and Indian housing regulations. Jess and his wife, Nancy, have worked for many tribes all across the United States. Jess’s legal experience included eight years as judge in state district court, served as tribal court prosecutor, served as tribal court trial judge and chief justice of a tribal supreme court, vice-chaired the American Bar Association Judiciary Committee, chaired the Oklahoma Bar Association Indian Law Section, chaired the Oklahoma Bar Association General Practice - Solo and Small Firm Section twice, chaired the Chickasaw Bar Association and published numerous legal articles. His practicing licenses included many Indian courts, the State of Oklahoma, all federal district courts in Oklahoma, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. Jess’s recognitions included National Indian Gaming Association Lifetime Achievement Award 2012, Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association Chairman’s Award for Extraordinary Service 2012, Oklahoma Supreme Court Service Award 2012, Miami Tribe of Oklahoma Appreciation Medal 2012 (fourth ever given), Oklahoma Tribal Gaming Regulators Association Service Award 2012, John Kiefer Award 2011, inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame 2011, Tim Wapato Sovereign Warrior Award 2011, Service Award from Chickasaw Nation Bar Association 2010, Service Award from Global Gaming Expo (G2E) 2010, Chairman Leadership Award from National Indian Gaming Association 2009, Warrior Award from Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association 2008, Outstanding Service Award from Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association 2001, and International Masters of Gaming Law as Chair of the Native American Section. He had a total of 37 legal publications. Jess was a perpetual member of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, and a member of the Sunshine Missionary Baptist Church since 1961.

Jess is survived by his wife, Nancy McAlister Green of Ada; parents, J. L. and Mary Jo Thomas Green of Ada; daughter, Destiny Jade Green of Austin, Texas; son, Judd Lawrence Green  of Ada; stepdaughter, Charity Risner of Ada; granddaughter, Nixie Eppler of Ada; grandson, Van Risner of Ada; sister, Melissa Green Wilkerson and her husband, Richard, of Sunshine; sister-in-law, Sharon McAlister of Henryetta; brother-in-law, Gerald McAlister and his wife, Doreen, of Ada; brother-in-law, Jerry McAlister of Oklahoma City; niece, Keisha Sweeney Factor and her husband, Terry, of Ada; niece, Kristin Barbour of Ada; niece, Kandi Stuckey and her husband, Matt, of Edmond; nephew, Jeff McAlister of Ada; niece, Natalie Richards of Ada; nephew, Jerry Richards of Tribbey; niece, Amy Drescher and husband, John, of Ada; special “Mom,” Georgia Stewart of Fittstown; special “brother,” Jimmy Don Barlow of Tulsa; lifetime friends Steve Gregory, Ron Davidson, David Hatton and Eddie Easterling; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, in-laws and friends.

Jess was pre-deceased by his paternal grandparents, Jess and Jewell Gann Green; his maternal grandparents, John and Julia Kennedy Thomas; and his special “brother,” Bruce Stewart.

Bearers are Ronnie Randolph, Steve Gregory, Darren Gregory, Eddie Easterling, Ron Davidson, Daryl Sawyer, Jimmy Parrish and Danny Parrish. Honorary bearers are Governor Bill Anoatubby, David Hatton, Bill Lance, Jimmy Don Barlow and Eldon Flinn.

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